Have you ever thought about what it would take for you to close every sale?  

What would you need to know or need to do to make it happen?  In the world of fantasy there are the infamous magic mirrors, magic wands, the magic lamp with a genie or even the crystal ball.  If you had any of these magic tools you would know everything necessary to close a sale.  Recently I went on a year long quest to find a crystal ball.  I chose the crystal ball because it seemed more durable than a wand or a mirror and less frightening than a lamp with its genie.  I figured using the crystal ball would be more discrete than a genie flying out of a lamp.

The thought of being able to look into my crystal ball and see exactly what I needed to know and do in order to make a sale absolutely excited me.  No more rejections and the frustration of not reaching my goals.  No more “maybes” or “call me in six months.”  With my crystal ball I will make every sale because I will know the answers to every concern or objection.  I will know the prospects budget and ability to pay.  I will know their time frame for needing and ordering the product.  There won’t be any confusion as to the decision-maker; I will only be talking to those people who can make decisions.  My crystal ball will narrowly focus on the specific needs of the prospect, making sure I am solving the real problem.

In my quest for just the right crystal ball I searched the finest stores.  I surfed the web and I conducted hours of relentless research.  I didn’t want mixed signals or cloudy answers so I was looking for the perfect crystal ball without flaws or blemishes.  If I was going to trust my sales success to a crystal ball, I wanted to know that I was using the best.  Having traveled the world searching high and low for my crystal ball, I finally discovered exactly what I was looking for, halfway around the world in Beijing, China.  It came with a finely crafted cherry wood stand lined with red silk.  The crystal possessed perfect clarity and brightness.  I knew this crystal ball would illuminate the answers necessary to make every sale.

When I returned from China, still excited about my great find, I started to formulate the different questions I would ask my crystal ball.  I focused on what I would need to know to close every sale.  I made a list of about two-dozen questions that would reveal every possible answer.  Questions dealing with needs, wants, desires, decision maker, competition, pricing, budget, volume, time frame, concerns, objections, etc.  These questions were then committed to memory so I would know exactly what to look for in my mystical crystal ball.  As I prepared for my next presentation, realizing that my prospect didn’t stand a chance, I rehearsed my questions and planned my strategy using my crystal ball.  The more I thought about it though, the more I realized that I didn’t really need my treasured crystal ball at all.  The information I was hoping to learn through my crystal ball could have just as easily been revealed through asking the prospect directly those same questions I asked my crystal ball.

All of my research and travel to find a crystal ball was for naught.  I had the answer to increased sales all along.  It was effective questioning.  Questions are the answer for more sales.  Through questioning I can encourage my prospects to reveal all of the information and answers necessary to close the sale.  Most salespeople never ask enough questions to be as effective as they could.  I’m reminded of the game I played with my friends in junior high school, twenty questions.  We could generally discover the answer within the twenty-question limit.  Our prospects don’t limit the number of questions we can ask.  Ask every meaningful question you can think of to solve the mystery of the sale.   Always remember, QUESTIONS ARE THE ANSWER!

Note: Although I did buy a "crystal ball" in Beijing, the rest of my story involving belief in magical items is embellished for illustrative purposes.  Asking questions is one of the most powerful tools in our sales arsenal.